Will Smith, Update on Response to ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Legislation, Highlights from Deadline Contenders TV
Will Smith’s career and the impact since the 2022 Oscars, the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation in Florida is still a hot topic of conversation, and highlights from panels that took place at Deadline’s Contenders TV event.
By Lauren Cali
April 13, 2022
Will Smith: Who He Is and the 2022 Oscars
Will Smith first rose to stardom as a rapper, which landed him the starring role in the
Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
His easy manner and loveable style quickly solidified his stature as Hollywood’s next big thing. Film roles quickly followed from major summer blockbusters to Oscar-worthy contenders. His career spanning 30 years includes iconic roles such as Jay in
Men in Black
, Mike in
s, and the Genie in the live-action
. His most recent role was Richard Williams in
for which he won the best actor Oscar.
At this year’s Oscars Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage after a comment was made about his wife. Jada Pinkett-Smith, who has alopecia, has always been
about her battle with her hair loss.
The timeline of events regarding the altercation can be found below:
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars
Will Smith resigns from the Academy
Official decision to have Will Smith banned for 10 years. More information can be found
Will Smith’s response to the Academy’s decision was respectful. He said:
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
Action-movie Director Michael Bay has stated he would work with Will Smith again-
In my personal opinion, actions can be understood why someone did what they did if you know their story and history. I am currently reading Will’s memoir
, and learning more about him.
Update: Don’t Say Gay Legislation
Disney continues to be at the forefront of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation. When the legislation was first passed, they didn’t take a position, which led to a lot of backlash from employees of the company. Now with a public stance against the bill, the company is still under fire from far-right conservatives and opponents of LGBTQ education -
Amongst those who have spoken up against the bill is Abigail Disney, granddaughter of Roy Disney. Abigail’s interview with CNN can be viewed
. This past weekend at the 2022 Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival Gala, Stephanie Beatriz spoke up about the legislation, and said:
“I understand that many people have issues with Disney, as well they should. But one of the things that I’m really proud of is that Walt Disney Animation set this film in Colombia, with a family that was all Colombians and Latinos, and all different races, because it’s really big to show children all over the world that Latinos don’t only look one way, they look all sorts of ways.”
More of Stephanie’s interview can be found
Deadline Contenders TV Panel Highlights
Deadline recently held a Contenders TV event with panels of acclaimed shows on television today. We’ve pulled some highlights.
Showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett, creator of
about the upcoming season 2 of the show, and its themes of diversity and representation.
about her show
The Amber Ruffin Show
and her personal mission to de-gaslight America.
Viola Davis, starring in
The First Lady,
injecting cultural specificity into the show.
Samuel L. Jackson and Walter Mosley
Last Days Of Ptolemy Grey.
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Lauren Cali writes the weekly entertainment industry news blog for Productions.com. She’s a Social Media Specialist and a graduate of Elmhurst College.